The Mail on Sunday reports on the politics of pronouns. The newspaper discusses the reaction from SSAUK and other parents and campaigners to a recent addition to the BBC Bitesize website, called ‘How to be an ally to friends who’ve changed their pronouns.’
The original version of the article – on the website and promoted via Twitter – showed a cartoon image of three children sharing a changing room, with each child labelled either she/her, he/him or they/them.
The image has since been removed after protests, and replies to the tweet have been disabled.
We have written to the BBC to complain about this. Our complaint is below.
Complaints to the BBC can be made here.
This BBC article is promoting political ideology to children. This is against the new DfE guidelines, the 1996 Education Act & also your own BBC editorial guidelines on impartiality.Safe Schools Alliance UK
The image chosen to illustrate the article on Twitter & Facebook appears to show a mixed sex changing room. Mixed sex changing undermines safeguarding & robs children of their dignity & privacy. Policies advocating for this have been legally challenged & withdrawn.
The new DfE guidance states ‘It is important when using external agencies to take particular care that the agency & any materials used are appropriate and in line with your school’s legal duties regarding political impartiality.’ BBC Bitesize are promoting a hotly contested political issue, this is not acceptable.
The article indoctrinates children into using pronouns such as ‘Ne (Ne/nem/nir),Ve (Ve/vis/vir),Ze (Ze/zem/zir), and a set of pronouns known as ‘spivak’ (ey, em, eir).’ The resource doesn’t support teachers dealing with vulnerable students struggling with their identity, many of whom may grow up to be lesbian, gay or bisexual. Schools need assistance challenging sexism, homophobia & gender stereotypes.
As can be seen by the response on the Twitter hashtag #DefundTheBBC & the replies on the Facebook post this resource has stoked divisions: far from helping & supporting any children questioning their gender it has made them the subject of derision. Kemi Badenoch has made it clear that divisive narratives have no place in schools.
The article says ‘Using information from Stonewall we’ve put together a quick guide to pronouns‘. The DfE guidelines say ‘Schools should not under any circumstances work with external agencies that take or promote extreme positions’. Stonewall is campaigning to remove the single sex exceptions from the Equality Act 2010, an ‘extreme position’ which robs girls of legal protections.
This is not the first time the BBC have proselytised to children. It must stop.